To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she expects to make a decision on whether to make available the relevant background information derived from consultations relating to her decision to legalise the selling of pet animals, birds and reptiles in markets and other public places in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
We have received a number of requests on the issue of pet fairs under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and the Environmental Information Regulations (EIRs). Defra endeavours to answer all these enquiries within the statutory 20 working day time limit. Where cases are more complex the enquirer is informed that the time limit is being extended for an additional 20 working days. In rare circumstances raising particularly complex issues, some responses may be delayed beyond this, although Defra will respond as quickly as possible. A response to one particularly complex case under the Freedom of Information Act has just been released. We regret that the complexity of this case led to a delay in responding.